Never underestimate the prosperity of e-commerce. According to Statista, consumers spent over $839 billion in 2013, and that number has only increased in the following years. More shoppers are turning to the web to buy everyday goods, but companies are just now beginning to keep up with the demand. Many Canadian retailers have only recently entered the internet marketplace. If you run a business and you haven’t considered some form of e-commerce solution, you need to put some serious thought into your long-term strategy.
But an online store alone won’t guarantee prosperity. You need to stay on top of new technologies and practices that will improve your customers’ shopping experiences. Failing to do so could send your prospects running to your competitors.
Alternative payment solutions are among the most prominent new technologies that you should consider. Industry leaders like PayPal have been around for a while, but recent competitors have brought new attention to these transaction methods. More customers are adopting these payment approaches, so if you aren’t prepared to accept them, your online sales may start to lag.
Fortunately, you can avoid this fate relatively easily. Here are just a few reasons why you should provide alternative payment solutions for your customers.
Customers Can Choose How They Want to Pay
Choice is a prime motivator for online shoppers. Consumers face limitations when they visit physical retailers. If a store doesn’t have the item they seek or can’t sell a product at a reasonable price, the patron is out of luck. When these shoppers turn to internet retailers, they aren’t bound by these restrictions anymore.
Still, online stores can restrict buyers in other ways. Namely, they can force customers to pay using inconvenient methods. When businesses adopt alternative payment solutions, they give their customers more say in how they purchase goods. This plays to the strengths of e-commerce and makes sales more likely.
Alternative Methods Reduce Reliance on Credit Cards
Shopping was a stress-free activity before credit cards became a dominant payment method. Sure, you might have gotten short-changed, but you never had to worry about having your identity stolen or credit rating ruined.
Today, these concerns aren’t just valid, they’re shockingly common. Major retailers have suffered breaches that exposed their customers to major financial risks. As a result, more consumers are wary of entering sensitive information into online forms.
Alternative payment methods can help you cater to these shoppers. They draw money from customers’ bank accounts or credit cards, but their information is never used directly in the transaction. This means that shoppers are less likely to suffer from data theft if they use one of these options. Offering alternative solutions shows that your company cares about its shoppers’ safety, and these buyers will reward you for that attention.
Checkouts Move Faster
Slow checkout processes cost you more business than you think. Online shoppers value speed and efficiency. If you put too many steps in their way, they’re more likely to abandon items in their carts and leave your website for good. Alternative solutions minimize the steps involved in these procedures so customers can finish their transactions faster.
Alternative Solutions Make Mobile Shopping Easier
Retailers have already anticipated the benefits of online shopping, but comparatively few realize how many consumers use mobile devices to make purchases. Many e-commerce stores don’t scale well to mobile devices, which causes businesses to miss out on potential sales.
You can avoid this fate if you offer alternative payment methods. Some solutions are designed with mobile in mind, so they’re more responsive to the constraints that smartphone and tablet users face. Accepting these methods will ensure that you’ll be ahead of the curve as e-commerce continues to develop.